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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Oct 3, 2010 4:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China > Rider

I've always been a big China/Rider fan, with Eur.72 being the standard bearer. My prefs are 72-74, but others might have strong opinions.

This may provide a guide, I have not checked them all out:

http://gratefuldeadprojects.com/China_Cat_Rider.html
(scroll down for their list)

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Poster: Dhamma1 Date: Oct 3, 2010 6:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China > Rider

Our own Light Into Ashes wrote one of his fine essays on this topic a couple years ago in a forum post. It's also on his blog at

http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2009/08/chinarider-early-years.html

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 3, 2010 7:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China > Rider

I agree with the others that '73/74 are the best years for China>Rider. (Especially '74.) The '72 versions just don't feel complete to me - Weir does his solo, which is about the same every time, then Garcia paints in a few notes which dribble inconclusively into Rider. (Sometimes in late '72 he does more, but generally...) I need more of a full transition jam to be happy! And the Feelin' Groovy jam was just right - instead of Rider kind of quietly sneaking up, in '73 they started dramatically pouncing on it from the jam, which works better for me.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Oct 4, 2010 12:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China > Rider

"I agree with the others that '73/74 are the best years for Weir does his solo, which is about the same every time"

I've always wanted to ask this question. Is there a lead guitar gene? Mr. Bob stood next to one of greatest guitarists in history, and nothing rubbed off. Why is that? I think he's mind-boggling good at rhythm, but... Did you ever come across anything like this in your historical research?

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 4, 2010 6:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China > Rider & Weir

Well, different guys have different styles.... What exactly should have 'rubbed off'?
(Maybe Garcia could've given some slide lessons...)

Weir did not want to be a 'lead' player, his role was providing rhythms & filling in spaces & generally being the 'push' of a song. I doubt he ever would've bothered trying to do a solo like Garcia. (He tried to avoid having a similar guitar tone as Garcia, as well.) When he did do a solo, it tended to be jagged in style, with none of the flowing lilt that Garcia could bring. One reviewer said that if Weir had been the Dead's lead guitarist, audiences would have gone home with headaches!
But look at it the other way. Garcia was quite complimentary about Weir's style - he said he was always surprised by Weir's playing, and could never have come up with some of Weir's musical ideas. As far as other guitarists 'rubbing off', he said he couldn't tell where Weir got his style from, as it sounded very original & unique.
Anyway, having dual lead guitarists worked for the Allmans, but it wasn't quite the way the Dead worked....

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Oct 4, 2010 8:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China > Rider & Weir

Thank you - that's great. I guess it is all individual, isn't it? BTW - if WT is PM I nominate you for Secretary of Education.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Oct 5, 2010 4:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China > Rider

I think I actually prefer the plainer earlier versions. Rider is supposed to be a plaintive song IMO, and there is almost a bit too much frenzy in some of the later versions. I like it uptempo but sort of gentle and folky. Mine is a minority opinion it seems!

edit - that said, 5/3/72 is certainly spectacular.

This post was modified by ringolevio on 2010-10-05 11:52:41

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